Tofu with Oyster Sauce and Scallions

April 21, 2013
By Holly Jennings

Tofu with Oyster Sauce

One day, wanting to make use of some tofu and scallions in the fridge, I came up with this very simple stir-fry. Having just spent several weeks cooking from Grace Young’s cookbook The Breath of a Wok, I felt emboldened to improvise with what I had on hand.

Once you do some wok time with the recipes in The Breath of a Wok you begin to get into a wok rhythm, and to gain a (more…)

Make Rice and Liberate Yourself

April 05, 2013
By Holly Jennings

Using your finger to measure water


If you’ve got some rice, some water, and a saucepan you can cook rice. There’s no need for measuring cups and no need to measure the rice or water. All you need is your index finger.


I learned this freewheeling finger-in-the-pot method from Grace Young’s cookbook The Breath of a Wok, the current DCCC pick. To be honest, I’d come across the method previously in other Asian cookbooks, but it’s only now, after building my kitchen skills to their current level (due in part to this cookbook club) and with Young’s well-written and assuring book at my side, that I felt confident enough to leave my measuring cups in the cupboard. Once I took the leap of faith and made my first pot of rice this way, I felt liberated.


Besides being freeing, the method is also (more…)

Recipe Shorthand: A Slow Cook’s Solution to Fast Stir-Frying

March 07, 2013
By Holly Jennings

Recipe Shorthand


I am speed adverse. I cross-country ski rather than downhill, and close my eyes on roller coasters.


My sole sibling, Heather, loves speed and action. Take this loosely drawn-from-memory photo of (more…)

Mama’s Noodles with Mushrooms and Ham, and Her Special Bowl

February 24, 2013
By Holly Jennings

Mama's Noodles


Today Chinese people all over the world are enjoying the Lantern Festival, which marks the last day of the Chinese New Year season. The traditional food for the festival is Yuanxiao dumplings, made with sticky rice flour.


Instead of dumplings, I made a rice noodle dish found in the cookbook The Breath of a Wok by Grace Young. In an email, Grace had suggested it to me as a very auspicious New Year’s recipe to try. “The noodles symbolize (more…)